Posts Tagged ‘nathan hall’


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  1. Joke workshops
  2. Craigslist free stuff section – Buy one-get one free coupons – I posted that I was giving away 10 x single tickets to the first people to email with the subject header “standup.” I found it was a good way to do outreach to people who might not otherwise see live performance. When I corresponded about the tickets, I invited people to email after the show and share feedback; I got some nice feedback. Moreover, at the venue, after the show you can try to sweet talk them so they feel a personal connection and come back again in subsequent weeks.
  3. You could also go to workplaces in your area and offer blocks of tickets for groups of five or more. Office buildings, school staff rooms, swimming pool staff, restaurant staff, etc.
  4. At each event, maybe mention a password that will give a $2 discount for subsequent weeks
  5. Have a punch card, “attend 3 nights, get the 4th free.”
  6. After work summer barbeque
  7. Maybe each week’s ticket/hand stamp is an entry into a larger drawing for the end of the summer.
  8. You could have a lot of fun with gag prizes each week. Do one for the biggest group, or the person who came from the furthest distance. Do some trivia.
  9. Make it more of a “league” by doing challenges each week. Maybe one week is the all sports joke week, and the next is that every comedian has to use the prop of the emcee’s choice in his/her act (ooh prop comedy, edgy), and then the next week is all impersonations…you get the drift. People could vote at the end of the night and whoever gets the most votes wins. You could do it nightly or cumulatively.
  10. Collaborate with local businesses to do tradeoffs of services. Raffles in between comedians, free breadsticks at the pizza place down the block with your comedy ticket/stub/hand stamp, the works. The other places probably feel the economic pinch just like you.
  11. A free first drink would get me to show up.
  12. Text all of your friends.

*Please Note: these are all answers I originally found on the website ask.metafilter when I typed in “ideas on promoting standup comedy shows.” These are just the highlights I found the most useful.*Image


It's not just Time Warner, they all suck. Period, end of story.

1. There would only be one pizzeria per city and lobbyists would pay politicians thousands of dollars to keep it that way.
2. You could only order one kind of pizza but you can choose the size.
3. Unfortunately, all pizzas now come with all 65 ingredients, no substitutions allowed and the vast majority of them taste disgusting.
4. Complaining about how you do not like ingredients such as green onions or cottage cheese on your pizza is useless. Stock answer from Charter-Pizza-to-go: “We want to offer our customers the greatest variety possible and ala carte pricing would hurt the diversity of our product. If we do not put things like powdered sugar or peach salsa on our pizzas, no one would ever try eating them. This hurts the businesses that make these ingredients.”
5. If you want to set up pizza delivery, you have to do a major credit card security deposit and the pizza companies can only guestimate as to when the delivery person will actually show up at your house. 1 out of 3 times, they never show up at all. Weathermen are more accurate than these clowns are.
6. Even if you are busy and do not have time all month to sit down and eat the gross pizza, you still have to pay for it. You can eat other food of course but pizza is a subscriber model only. Did I mention late payment fees?
7. When you cancel pizza delivery service, you have to return all the pizza company stuff to the pizzeria’s branch office. It is in the middle of nowhere with cushy hours that would make a banker jealous. If you do not return the pizzeria equipment this way, a $250.00 fine lowers your credit score. (Mailing it does not count.)
8. You hear crazy stories like how your cousin switched to DiGourno’s after the pizza place insisted he lived somewhere he did not because, well, that is where the computer says he lives. And we all know computers do not ever make mistakes, right? Or the one about your brother who lost his house in a tornado but the pizza company still charged him the full $500 for the lost/destroyed pizza equipment and dinged his credit anyways. Act of God, right?
9. Pizza delivery prices increases from month to month, often with little warning and zero justification.

10. I am sure you probably have read about cities in Europe and Asia where they have two, three or even more pizza delivery options. Not only that, the foreign competitor model is cheaper. Even better, you just simply call them up whenever you feel like it! What a novel concept! One shot deal, no pre-pays or subscriptions necessary. In addition, some of these progressive pizzerias even sell packages with items like wings or breadsticks included. You could say this is Adam Smith’s invisible hand of free market capitalism at work.  Nevertheless, complaining about any of this will immediately brand you an anti-business communist/terrorist sympathizer, at best. Now, eat your nasty ass pizza and shut up!


Locust Lecture Dead At 6

After 6 1/2 years of proving music still hurts, I am sad to report the Minneapolis-based radio show Locust Lecture will broadcast it’s last episode tonight at 10-12 PM CST. As a co-creator of the show at Radio K with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, it’s more than a little depressing to see it go.

Of all the wonderful things I was apart of in Murderapolis, Locust Lecture is inarguably what I am most proud of. Currently hosted by DJ Either/Or, Fuzzy Christ, TK1 and Evil Intern Lemmy, there is without a doubt no show like it past present and future included. Characters like Edel Hardcore, Archibald Winterbottom and Ian Docherty. Skits like “Poetry Of The Damned” and “Robots With Tears.”

I challenge anyone to find a playlist featuring new tracks by Mastodon, Mouse On Mars, Venetian Snares & Gay Witch Abortion in a row. The goal was always to be as abrasive as humanly possible and we were if nothing else consistent in that mission statement. The first song we played was “Dead Babies” by Alice Cooper and the last song tonight is rumored to be “I Hate You” by Electric Wizard. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

The reason was as I understand it the new programming/news coach Sarah L.and/or other pro staff changed the policy allowing specialty show alumni to stay on the air as long as there was a student co-host. This change happened last month and because the student co-host can’t run the show solo over the summer, the show is cancelled.

TK1 told me he is talking to Evan P., CEO of Fancy Pants Gangsters Netcast Network, to see if the show could be picked up. TK1 says he plans to grab as much digital archives as he can. The music library we amassed and curated will stay in studio, I plan on paying Zach J. whatever he needs to keep the website up and running.

The radio frequencies are 770 AM, 106.5 FM and 100.7 FM in the Twin Cities metro but you can also listen online at radiok.org or listen on your iPhone by downloading the free Public Radio Player app from the iTunes app store. To learn more about the show, please visit locustlecture.org


The following essay is re-published with the generous permission of the author/stand-up comedian Vince Martin. If you’d like to find out more about Vince Martin’s comedy, please visit his website at http://www.recoveringyankee.com

I am a standup comedian. I get to say that now; I was always careful
to avoid that exact phrase (though it may have slipped out from time
to time). I have always preferred to say that “I do standup comedy.”
Why the change? 1) I’m getting paid now and 2) I’m completely
miserable.

I am getting paid now, though perhaps only in a matter of speaking. I
make twenty-five dollars a set. It costs me ten dollars and three
hours to get there, round-trip. So I net fifteen dollars for six hours
of time. True, I can write off the travel expenses, but given that my
projected annual income for 2004 is approximately thirty-seven dollars
and twenty-three cents, I highly doubt I’ll be itemizing my taxes.

In the past, I refused to call myself a standup comedian until I was
paid. That’s just obnoxious. Just because I shoot hoops at the Y
doesn’t mean I can introduce myself as a “basketball player”. It’s
like all the “actors” you meet in New York City.

“What do you do?”
“I’m an actor.”
“Really? What have you been in?”
“I was an extra in an independent short film three years ago.”
“Oh, so you’re a waiter.”

If you ever meet a comic, and he tells you wonderful comedy is, and
how passionate he is, and how it’s his “destiny” and “purpose for
being,” punch him. Hard. Because he is an “open miker.” And open
mikers suck. But, Vince, weren’t you an open miker? Yes, perhaps, at
one point. I have certainly done open mikes. But I was never an “open
miker”. “Open mikers” do open mikes not for auditions or to try new
material, but simply because they can’t even perform for free. Think
about that. Spend three years developing a five-minute act, and it is
still so bad that everyone says, “I can’t listen to this guy for less
than five bucks and a drink.” Open mikers go to open mikes and do
their same boring act, on the off chance that, “Hey, maybe this joke
will work the 237th time I tell it.” And then they send tapes to
bookers, and stand in line for eight hours for “Last Comic Standing”
and the Aspen Comedy Festival. And any comic with any talent trying to
be found simply gets lost in the shuffle (and I’m referring to people
significantly further along the ladder than myself), or dies of
exposure on the sidewalk in front of Stand Up New York.

But because “open mikers” only do open mikes, they’re not exposed to
the business end of comedy. They only perform for their fellow open
mikers, and they get to harbor the dream that one day a booker will
just happen to walk into an open mike in a pizzeria in the East
Village (hey, it happens all the time) and say, “Hey, kid – you’re
going to be a star!”
Debating whether to keep ranting about this… Still debating… OK,
moving on…wait…moving on. Honest. Don’t go. Come back. Finish
reading. It gets better. I promise.

Where is this coming from? Well, I’ve spent four shows MCing at the
Comedy Cabana here in Myrtle Beach. I’ve done about thirty-five
minutes total, and about twenty-five minutes of material (in other
words, I haven’t repeated much). And I’ve struggled. I haven’t bombed,
and the club owner seems happy (road clubs don’t expect much from
emcees) but those who have seen me up north would be standing in the
back with me saying, “God, I thought you’d do better than that.” Me
too, mon frer. I’ve tried nearly every joke in my repertoire. Jokes
that kill in New York flop here. Jokes that kill on Monday night get
three chuckles on Tuesday. And then the fat drunk in the back who damn
near gave me a standing ovation on the way in tonight decides that
four minutes into my set is a good time to start arguing with his
girlfriend, out loud. (Honest. She left in tears five minutes into the
second act’s set. The fat drunk got out of his chair, nearly fell
over, and walked out of the club. I spent the entire taxi ride home
hoping to see his car embedded into a telephone pole.

It’s frustrating as hell. It’s frustrating when you know that a joke’s
funny, when you know that doing three minutes about your crazy
girlfriend and then saying, “I don’t really have a girlfriend,” has
gotten you applause breaks from twenty-person crowds, but gets six
people out of 140 to laugh hysterically, because the rest of the crowd
just doesn’t get it. You begin to question everything – your material,
your delivery, your stage presence, your clothes, the fact that you
haven’t shaved in two days (seriously), even the very existence of a
God (maybe that’s exaggerating a bit). You certainly begin to question
the intelligence of the average person. You question when when people
in this country became so sensitive that they moan at jokes which
offend imaginary people (my joke) and heroin users (the feature’s).
The business is a struggle, and that’s why open mikers maintain their
innocence, and why comics are often stereotyped (often correctly) as
bitter, insecure, and even angry. When you take a sixteen-hour round
trip, door to door, to Boston from New York to do eight minutes, and
the host grabs you on your way up and says, “You’re only doing five,”
it hurts. When you move to a new city, and leave messages on answering
machines and with managers about how you live here now and have a
decent act, and no one returns your calls, it’s annoying. When you
finally get the booker on the phone, and he says he hasn’t watched
your tape because he gets nearly a hundred calls a week from comedians
(those damn open mikers again), it’s frustrating. And when you finally
get your chance, and you’re dying to get on stage again, and just
roll, and you get sidetracked by things out of your control, like fat
drunks and stupid audiences and guest sets and broken air-conditioning
systems (the AC went out on Wednesday night; it was hysterical. 150
people packed into a small room in South Carolina in late June with no
A/C. It was 85 degrees in the room; everyone in the audience spent the
whole show fanning themselves with their menus. I put soaking wet,
cold towels up on the stage for the three comics to use, since we were
pouring sweat just standing in the back. I walked on stage, and said,
“Welcome to the Comedy Cabana. God, it’s freezing in here.” Audience
laughed; not sure about the owner. Anyway, again), it’s humbling.

That’s the best word to describe this business: humbling. Every time
you convince yourself that you’re going to make it, that you’re really
as good as that little part of your ego thinks you are, you get
knocked down a peg. And you smack yourself in the forehead, and think,
“Damn, I knew that was going to happen.” And you drive yourself back
to work, researching comedy clubs and bus schedules, and see that guy
you used to work with in New York, featuring at a club in North
Carolina, and you know that you’re better than him, on your worst day.
But you’ll just have have to wait.
There is some good news, though. I just saved a bunch of money on my
car insurance. (Oh, Jesus, you didn’t just do that joke. You worthless
hack.) And tomorrow, I’ve got two sets. Fifty bucks. And I can’t wait
because I know, that, finally, I’ll kill. Even better, there was a
time, less than two years ago, when I sent my friends and family a
mass email about a bringer show in New York City. And everyone
laughed, and made comments (myself included), and I tried to figure
out how the hell I was going to pull it off, and I don’t think anyone,
not even me, in my wildest dreams, ever believed that I would ever get
to write the following:

I am a standup comedian.

Vince Martin (recoveringyankee.com)


I have worked for REDACTED since 10-1-2006. I left Minnesota for Alaska because the economy was better and I was attempting to escape the recession.

While I was in training for my new position at the Anchorage store, the manager of the hotel I was staying at approached me to apply for a winter management job. The hotel hired me on the condition I quit REDACTED immediately, which I did reluctantly.

9-21: REDACTED when they hired me promised me $400 a week plus board plus $150 a week in bonuses contingent upon the completion of my contract on 2-1-11.

Approximately the day after I was hired, I was informed that I would only be paid $340 a week unless I slept in a bunk bed in an 8-man shared hostel room. I was also informed the $150 bonus would only be awarded if I completely sold out the hotel every week of the winter contract. I was also informed the hotel was for sale.

They never signed my I-9 or W-4 even though I repeatedly asked them to and verbally hired me, never on paper.

The owner REDACTED and manager REDACTED flew to REDACTED 2 weeks after I was hired and left me in charge of the 26-room hotel as well as 3 employees who lived on site. After they left, I was informed that all hours I worked before they left were “training wages” and would only be paid minimum wage for those hours.

The $150 stipend allotted once a month for repairs and supplies did not begin to cover the expenses of maintaining the hotel. When I informed them over the phone that they needed to comply with fire codes and other relevant state laws, they stated I would have to pay for it myself out of my own pocket. I kept the receipts for tax and legal purposes.

As a salaried on-site employee, I always worked in excess of 50 to 60 hours a week and never signed any paperwork agreeing to these overages. I was encouraged on multiple occasions to have staff work off the clock uncompensated on their time sheets for training.

I was on call 24/7 and was not compensated for my cell phone bill in any way despite numerous phone calls, voice mails, emails, and text messages I received from REDACTED her queries immediately, she would call the phone in my hotel room until I picked up whether I was asleep or not. Despite on numerous occasions insisting that discussions happen on the clock during normal business hours, she declined to honor the original work hours we agreed to.

During my employment, I was heavily encouraged to sublet an apartment in REDACTED owned by REDACTED and rented by REDACTED during my time off. (The hotel contract was 3 months on, 3 months off.) I refused. The owner also approached me about collaborating with him on a non-profit hotel venture that would allow him to elude paying Alaska bed hotel taxes. Since the profits of the hotel currently funneled to REDACTED, a financially insolvent REDACTED based REDACTED relief agency, I declined this offer as well.

After two of my employee’s checks bounced repeatedly, it came to my attention that the hotel had been in foreclosure since March. REDACTED owes over $40,000 in back taxes and the apartment complex I also collected rent on is in foreclosure for $20,000 in unpaid back taxes. There are multiple open financial judgments against him in the Alaska court system with mentions of bankruptcy. The bank at any moment now reserves the right to seize the property, which would result in employees immediately evicted, homeless and unemployed with no health insurance.

After consulting with REDACTED, a lawyer with REDACTED here in Anchorage, I resigned immediately on 11-22 and put the keys in the safe, moved out and left. My supervisors have not left REDACTED, leaving three part-time on site employees who cannot open the safe and thus no ability to pay myself my final paycheck or themselves.

I faxed, emailed and sent them a certified letter asking them for my last paycheck mailed to me within 3 business days in compliance with state law. After they declined to do so, I filed a wage claim with the Alaska Department of Labor. The Department of Labor estimated it might take up to two years to resolve the dispute. However, there is interest applied for every day they do not pay me.

I currently work part time at REDACTED in Palmer, AK for REDACTED plus tips.

I have severed all ties on facebook with Deborah Cannon and Cameron Spillers. Adam still has possession of my two cats Jaws and Maddy, who currently still reside at Deb’s house in Rochester, MN with her dog Reggie and cat Caroline.

I have absolutely nothing negative to say whatsoever about Deb or her family. (You may recall the debacles on this website involving “relationship statuses” and Rachel Witzke and Tiffany Bruenger.) I will simply summarize the situation by stating that Deb and I obviously had an infamously turbulent, complicated relationship. We broke up and got back together multiple times over the years. I honestly wish her no ill will. The same goes for Danna Klann, my ex who in October married one of my former managers.

Originally, I had planned to only live in Anchorage temporarily but I have decided to make Alaska my permanent home. Minnesota is where I was born and where the majority of my family resides so this was a very difficult decision to make. I will not be visiting for the holidays and do not know at this point when I will be able to visit my friends in the Lower 48.

I am currently considering two job possibilities, both of which are full time with health care and livable wages.

I currently juggle 3 pre-pay cell phones, all of which I will deactivate by New Years Eve. Once I have my new AT&T number, you will be the first to know. My contact info remains as follows:

Nathan Hall

645 G Street – Suite 651

Anchorage, AK 99501

natethenotsogreat@gmail.com

You know me, unable to resist jumping at the first flimsy excuse to reference "On Deadly Ground."


  1. North To Alaska – Box Car Willie
  2. Anchorage – Michelle Shocked
  3. Alaska & Me – John Denver
  4. From Alaska To L.A. – Wanda Jackson
  5. Stephanie Says – Velvet Underground
  6. When It’s Springtime In Alaska – Johnny Cash
  7. My Elusive Dreams – George Jones & Tammy Wynette
  8. Fairbanks, AK – Joe Walsh
  9. Far Alaska – Jethro Tull
  10. Home To Alaska – Lee Greenwood
  11. Murder Rap – Fat Joe
  12. Road To Alaska – Bee Gee’s
  13. The Prince William Sound – David Dondero
  14. Hard Hearted Hannah – Ella Fitzgerald
  15. I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash

    Alaska: The Place Where The Sun Don't Shine. Literally.


Dear Answer Man, what’s the story regarding the guy who stands on Second Street Southwest every day in his swim trunks and waves to passing cars?

Thousands of commuters see this jolly, half-nude fellow with the big belly every day, so I figured it’s about time to get the facts.

His name is Joseph Johnson; he’s 43, lives in the apartment building in front of which he stands in the 800 block of Second Street Southwest, and he waves “peace” to passers-by for at least a few hours a day. When I stopped to talk with him Sunday, he was in a very – well, peaceful – mood, drinking a diet cola and wearing his trademark swimsuit and nothing else.

Why does he stand in front of his apartment building and wave at people on one of the city’s busiest streets?

“I do it because it makes people feel good,” says Joseph. “I want them to feel happy. We’ve been through so much with the wars,” with the economy and so on, he says.

As I noticed while talking with him yesterday, a lot of people wave back. He must be onto something.

Rochester Post Bulletin – Rochester, MN – Monday, July 12, 2010